WALTHAM, Mass. – Despite a third straight 30-point performance by senior All-Region guard Ryan Richmond (Toronto, Ont./Thomson Collegiate), the Bentley University Falcons came up on the short end of an 84-79 score with Southern New Hampshire University in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball Wednesday night at the Dana Center.
Richmond, the NE10 scoring leader, finished with 34 points and now has exactly 100 in his last three games. He moved to within five of becoming only the fourth 2,000-point scorer in program history, an elite group that includes only Tyler McFarland '16, Bill Holden '90 and Jason Westrol '10.
The loss halted a two-game win streak for Bentley, which remained third in the NE10 Northeast Division with records of 17-7 overall and 10-7 conference. Southern New Hampshire improved to 12-10 overall and 8-9 in NE10 action.
A 13-2 SNHU run midway through the second half turned a one-point lead into a 71-58 advantage with eight minutes to play. That flurry included three triples in a span of little more than a minute, with junior forward Eamonn Joyce (Medford), senior guard Daquaise Andrews (Queens, N.Y.) and senior guard Charlie Russo (Syracuse, N.Y.) all connecting from deep.
Bentley gradually cut into the Penmen lead over the final 3:15, with Richmond scoring ten and sophomore guard Colton Lawrence (Myerstown, Pa./ELCO HS) six, but it was too little too late. The Falcons sent SNHU to the line 12 times in the final two minutes and the Penmen made half of those, enough to secure the victory.
The Falcons took a one-point lead three times, the last with 17:44 left in the second half on a rare four-point play by sophomore guard Jordan Mello-Klein (Sharon/Thayer Academy). That made it 47-46 but SNHU answered by scoring the next eight, including a pair of driving lay-ups from Andrews.
Bentley got back within one on two occasions before the 13-2 burst making it a 12-point game.
Richmond, who scored 20 in the second half and played all 40 minutes, made 11 of his 22 shots and was perfect at the foul line, at 10-of-10. He also had three assists and two rebounds.
Lawrence scored 16 points and junior forward Chris Hudson (Hodgdon, Maine/Williston Northampton HS) finished with 15 points, ten rebounds and five assists. Mello-Klein was the team's fourth double-figure scorer with 11.
Andrews and Joyce combined for 59 for Southern New Hampshire with 30 and 29, respectively. Andrews also had eight rebounds and five assists, and Joyce led the Penmen on the boards with ten.
SNHU outshot the home team 45-41 percent and had a big rebounding edge, 46-32. That included 13 offensive which produced 15 second-chance points.
Bentley will be back at home Saturday for a 3:30 game against Saint Anselm.